QWAFL Preview: Round 14

Saturday August 1, 4:45pm Leyshon Park


It hasn’t been the pretty season in 2015 for last year’s QWAFL runner-ups, but Zillmere are determined to make a late run towards finals, starting with Yeronga this Saturday.

Two losses by 10-goals to your rival club never looks good on the ledger, but Eagles coach, Jacob Simmons-Bliss, insists that four points isn’t the only measuring stick this weekend.

“It’s not all about the win, obviously we want to minimise the margin and get the four points, but more than that we want to deliver a really good on field performance,” Simmons-Bliss said.

“For the best part of the season we have been trying to deliver that defining performance and I think with our designed game plan and tactics it will help us go a long way this week.

“You just have to look back two weeks ago where we nearly pipped Cooly – we have a great team culture and a great club culture and I really think we can deliver results off the back of that.”

The likes of Bates, Zanchetta, Harris, Anderson and Thomas create some potentially juicy matchups this week, but Simmons-Bliss is adamant that a win will only come from a whole effort.

“I think the way the competition is going at the moment, coaches can get sucked in to following big name players,” Simmons-Bliss said.

“But we can’t forget about the young ones, there are so many good young players going around and it really will require a whole team effort for us to get the points.

“We have some great experience coming back into the side this week and we will be focusing on a really strong start to put us in a good position to win the game.”

Yeronga have been fantastic this season, and with the exception of a few slow starts, have looked a real chance at taking out the flag in 2015.

Two losses each to Coolangatta and Coorparoo sit the Devils third on the ladder with six weeks to go, but there is still plenty of improvement to come according to coach Scott Stephens.

“We managed to sit down at training and watch some of the game footage from last week, which was a first for the girls,” Stephens said.

“I think it was really beneficial, they seemed to enjoy it and it gave all of us a chance to see that we can improve on a lot before finals.

“We had a good start against Uni last week and we don’t want to go backwards from there, the girls are very focused on having another fast start against Zillmere.”

Although the Devils have dominated the Eagles in both clashes this season, Stephens refuses to take a relaxed approach into the contest.

“We expect ourselves to get the points, but we don’t underestimate Zillmere in anyway,” Stephens said.

“I think we will be fine defensively and can stop some of their better players from taking over, but I will be looking to get hands on the football first.

“The girls are aware that four quarters performances are the benchmark for the remainder of the year, so that will be a big focus for us, if we do that we get over the line in my mind.”

Watch out for Jade Ransfield and Hayley Newberry from Yeronga this week who have been in sublime goal kicking form of late, they could be the difference maker.


Saturday August 1, 12:00pm Oval 7 – St Lucia


A few weeks ago you would have backed UQ to win this one quite comfortably, but last week’s effort by Griffith Moorooka has added some serious intrigue to this clash.

A 39-point loss doesn’t sound like a win, but when you’re bottom of the ladder and that result is against the competition’s best side, it certainly means a lot.

“We were really happy with our performance last week and it was a bit of a reward for the girls work this season,” Griffith Moorooka’s captain/coach Sam Virgo said.

“The girls are in really good spirits, but we can’t rest off our laurels, we know that UQ are going to be tough.

“Our focus all week has been to build off last weekend and I think if we work hard and don’t lapse we have every opportunity to win.”

UQ will be without the services of key players Belle Baldock, Sharni Webb and Marni McGorm this weekend, but Virgo insists that ins and outs won’t make a difference to the Reds approach.

“We just have to play our own game, we can’t worry too much about who they have or what they’re doing, we just have to focus on us,” Virgo said.

“We always have great contests with UQ, and I think if we apply good defensive pressure and focus on putting scoreboard pressure on we are a chance.”

UQ have beaten Moorooka comfortably on both occasions this season and will start deserved favourites on Saturday, but Red Lionesses coach Michael Swann isn’t getting overconfident.

“I don’t think we are in any position to start getting complacent, we are fully aware that Griffith Moorooka will see this as their big chance to register a win,” Swann said.

“We know they have some talented girls and they aren’t just going to roll over, so we will have to play really well to get a win on the board.”

2015 has been a productive season for the developing team from St Lucia, and Swann insists that improvement is still the key focus in the last quarter of the year.

“Nothing much changes for us week to week, we always want to focus on what we are doing, focus on our development and stick to the basics,” Swann said.

“We have a pretty simple game plan – work hard to create turnovers, spread from the contest and convert opportunities into points.

“The first two aspects we have been doing pretty well, but there is still some work to do in regards to converting our opportunities, so I will be looking for some headway into that this weekend.

Expect a close, gritty clash between these two developing clubs.


Sunday August 2, 2:30pm Giffin Park


Due to the washout round being played last weekend, Coorparoo and Wilston Grange will square off in an identical fixture to last week this Sunday at Giffin Park.

It’s been a tough old slog for the Gorillas recently with injuries plaguing the club, but it finally seems Wilston Grange will have some troops to rely on this weekend.

“I have some personnel back this weekend and barring anybody calling in sick or injured I should have full numbers plus an emergency,” said Wilston Grange coach, Ron Kemp.

“I will actually have some coverage this week which gives me the chance to do some matchups and tag some of the better players.

“They (Coorparoo) are an extremely good side, they run hard and use the ball well, so they are a tough team to contain, but we must be accountable.”

It’s been a tough few outings for Wilston Grange against Coorparoo in 2015, losing both games by 100+ points, but Kemp is simply looking for fight from his players.

“I want the girls to compete as hard as they can and go out there and be accountable to their player,” Kemp said.

“Coorparoo are one of those sides that can hurt you bad in 5-10 minutes, but if we are accountable, I think we can limit the impact of the Hunt’s, Sexton’s and Young’s.

“And if we can put it all together and be smart about how we use the footy, I have the belief that we can really compete and it really shouldn’t be the same scoreline as last week.”

It has been another fantastic season for Coorparoo in 2015, with ten brilliant wins in a row positioning them perfectly for yet another flag run.

Although it was a clinical 103-point win for the Navy Roos last week, Coorparoo coach, Bernie Cantrell would like to rectify something this weekend.

“Our start last week was very ordinary and honestly just not up to scratch with how we want to play football,” Cantrell said.

“It has definitely been a big focus for us this week – to make a better start – and I really want the girls to go out there and make a statement in the first quarter.”

The Navy Roos have utilised the full breadth of their list this season, and Cantrell admits he will be relying on some more inexperienced girls this weekend.

“The team is looking pretty good, but still got a few out with niggling injuries, so we will try a few young girls this Sunday,” Cantrell said.

“I really want these younger girls to make it hard for me at selection, I want them to put their hand up and let the senior girls know that they are capable to take a regular spot.

“But we also know that we can’t muck around out there, Wilston Grange are a physical side and I expect nothing less than a four quarter performance from my girls.”


By Grant Hitzman – @granthitzman


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